Salvage charges are amounts paid to protect the vessel against additional loss. This could be as simple as adding a barrier to a broken window or as complicated as a salvage company protecting the vessel if grounded.

Most marine insurance polices provide salvage charges as part of the normal boat insurance policies. Other companies will insure your boat from physical damage but do not provide coverage for salvage charges. This is an important difference and you should be aware if your policy provides this protection.

A boat insured for $40,000 that suffers a total loss from a sinking is paid $40,000 for the loss. If there is an additional cost of $20,000 to raise the vessel, this $20,000 will be paid in addition to the $40,000 coverage for the boat.

If a boat insurance policy did not include salvage charges, the additional $20,000 would be your responsibility. Most insurance companies will pay up to the hull value for salvage charges. If the boat is insured for $40,000, the boat insurance company will pay up to $40,000 in additional salvage charges.

Review our in-depth Boat Insurance Guide.

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